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Participatory Democracy

How can we keep our elected officials progressive? In this workshop you will learn the secret to creating radically people-centered policy through your elected officials.

Enrollment in this course is by invitation only
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About This Course

How many politicians hold true to their campaign promises? Are you tired of electing people and then discovering a year later they are not doing what you thought they would do? In the new model of political organizing, you and your organization work directly with elected officials, helping set policy priorities, write proposals, and pass legislation.

The first day in office is often the loneliest one for progressive candidates. While our volunteer organizers have gone on to other campaigns, corporate donors and party insiders meet with their elected officials to guide them in policy. We need to offer the same support to our elected leaders. In this workshop you will learn the secret to the Richmond Progressive Alliance’s success in creating radically people-centered policy from the great Gayle McLaughlin, one of their founders and their first two-term mayor.

This course is one of the four courses we recommend to all groups.


Strategize Your City is a requirement before taking this course.

Course Staff

Anna Callahan

Anna Callahan

The Director of The Incorruptibles, Anna Callahan was a software developer before quitting her job to volunteer full-time for the Bernie campaign. She coordinated a group of activists in Berkeley to volunteer for a slate of candidates and ballot measures for the local elections in 2016, almost all of which won. Anna is the primary trainer at The Incorruptibles, facilitating all in-person workshops so far.

Gayle McLaughlin

Gayle McLaughlin

A founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Gayle McLaughlin was the RPA's first elected official, and went on to become a two-term mayor. She led a successful grassroots movement to liberate Richmond from the grip of corporate giants and wealthy special interests. The progressive transformation returned political power to Richmond residents and local businesses and defeated the oil giant Chevron’s attempts to buy democracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I enroll?

If you have already taken Strategize Your City, you should already be enrolled. If you aren't, just let us know via chat, phone, or email. (Hint: if you've signed up with us, you have our chat, phone, and email info.)

Is this course for me?

We believe that everyone needs this information. Information in this course explains why even well-meaning elected officials slowly get corrupted by the system, and how you can ensure that your elected officials stay true to their values for decades to come.

What is the time commitment for organizers? For workshop attendees?

If you sign up as an organizer, you will attend one of our 90-minute trainings on facilitation. After that, you can schedule your workshop at a time that works best for your group. The workshop is two and a half hours.

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.